Moving into an area where hurricanes are common can be a little daunting at first. You know you need to be prepared, but if you've never lived in an area that gets hurricanes before, you may not know quite what that protection looks like. For your home, at least, a lot of that protection comes down to the windows. Here are the basics you need to know as a new-comer to the area.
Security windows are a starting point.
In the north, where hurricanes are not common, people can get away with standard, dual pane windows. These offer enough protection from the average thunderstorm, but they can easily be taken out by the high winds of a hurricane. In hurricane zones, your absolute starting point should be security windows. The windows that are sold as security windows have a layer of plastic over both panes of glass. This really tough plastic makes it harder to break the glass in the first place. And if the glass does break, it all sticks to the plastic. This way, if your windows do break, you won't come home to a huge mess of glass to clean up.
Hurricane shutters are a smart choice.
In addition to security windows, most homes in hurricane zones have what's known as hurricane shutters. These are exterior shutters, usually made from wood, that look like little double doors for your windows. When a storm is rolling in, you can close and lock the shutters together, which helps protect the windows not only from high winds but from things that might get blown into them — like tree branches.
If your home does not have hurricane shutters, then you will want to board up your windows before a big storm. This can be effective, but it is old-fashioned and a lot of work.
Homeowners insurance really cares about your windows.
In a hurricane zone, your homeowners' insurance will often want to see verification that you have security windows and hurricane shutters on your home. If you do not have these amenities, your insurance company will charge a lot more for your policy, and they may not pay out on claims you make for water damage if the windows break.
Now you know the basics about windows in a hurricane zone! If you have any additional questions, reach out to a window company in your area. They can make hurricane window protection recommendations based on your own unique home and the local climate.